28 April 2008
I'm currently a certified Flex trainer, so I logically use Flex and all its satellites—BlazeDS, LiveCycle, Flash Media Server, and sometimes Flash. And for sure now, Flex for AIR apps.
My last project is BabelFlex, an open source initiative for translating the Flex SDK. The idea of BabelFlex started during one of the Flex workshop sessions (a free 1-day Flex introduction training) that we gave each month at BaaO. During the session I put a DateChooser in the app. But unfortunately by default it was in English. And you see here in France it was something that we immediately noticed. A lot of people then asked about other languages — French, German, Spanish, and so on.
It was the Flex 2 period and the locale model was not really usable (compile time translation). So when Flex 3 was released with the new runtime dynamic locale change and the SDK open source model, Olivier, a BaO trainer, and I immediately decided to translate it into French. We also asked some volunteers at Tontons Flexeurs (a community user group) and our user groups for other languages for help. For example, Inigo decided to do the Spanish translation.
It's not something big to translate the entire framework — it takes only eight to ten hours. However, when you want to translate it into, say, 100 languages, it becomes a huge task for us.
We didn't count the number of downloads from BabelFlex. But a lot of people said thank you to us. So I believe it's really useful to the community.
Can I put an ad here? If your language is not listed on BabelFlex, just drop me an e-mail and we'll add it there.
Most of my work is to train developers to build Flex apps and one of my great pleasure is to start teaching Flex to newbies and have an e-mail six month later with just a link to their work. They do so incredible stuff in just a few months. It's really great!
Blogs, devnet, books.
I also have a lot of information from the students, especially during advanced training sessions. Believe me, the best way to learn Flex is to teach Flex.
My favorite English blog is Peter Ent's blog. It always has the good tutorials at the good time with the good examples.
My last gadget is the iPhone. I didn't buy it for the phone but for the web. It's really a good idea to have a true browser on a cellular phone and not just a special browser for special websites. Well done on this point. Just one missing plug-in.
FlexLite. A Flex Builder-enabled FlashLite technology.
The mobile market is a huge opportunity for the future. I would love to have the same simple developing model that is based on MXML and ActionScript 3.0 to build mobile apps -- the same thing that AIR brings me to build desktop apps.
Do you know the iPhone AIR project? Just take a look. Try it, especially the browser functionality.
Don't you think it could be a good idea to port AIR on mobile devices?